I love the festive season but I am not a great fan of New Year despite my Scottish blood and I am glad that I live in a time when both Christmas and New Year is celebrated rather than a time when Christmas day was a working day and the main celebrations were at New Year. I think it’s the fact that New Year for me is a time I assess where I am and realise that yet again all my foibles are still with me as I head into another year. Plus January is upon us and yet another month of very few daylight hours usually dark and grey before darkness falls once again. I spend the month counting the days till mid February when you start to see the light at the end of the tunnel as we crawl towards spring again.
However as Monday follows Sunday New Year follows Christmas and we only have two days left of the New Year. For a change though I have been planning my resolutions for some time now and indeed have been adding them to my notebook on my phone. So far I have seven. And I am feeling very positive about them despite the grey and black of the current weather.
Perhaps this is to compensate for last year when I decided not to bother about my foibles and had two resolutions both of which I kept for once. The first one was to keep a notebook and write down every book I read over the year. This I have enjoyed greatly though even I have been stunned by the amount of books I have read over the year. To date with two days to go a grand total of 114! This includes books that I have read with the kids and highlights have been finishing the Harry Potter series with my daughter. Discovering the wonderful David Walliams with my son whose books have kept both of us amused over the long winter nights. As a member of a book club I have read each and every monthly book. My favourite month being when we read Soon Child and A Monster Calls children’s books but deeply emotional and resonated with me especially a Monster Calls. Or for a lighter read I loved My Cleaner by Maggie Glee it was a joy to read and very funny with an accurate look at how we often feel that we are superior in the UK but actually we are fairly ridiculous at times and I include myself in this. Month by month my favourite books have been.
January – Catching the Eagle – Set in Northumbria in the 19th Century. Great historic novel.
February – The Invisible Bridge – one of the best World War two stories I’ve ever read and I have read many.
March – The Snow Child – A magical fairy story set in Alaska. Curl up in winter and enjoy.
April – The White Lie – a Scottish family story about a Highland estate less Monarch of the Glen blacker and far more intriguing.
May – Pure – Thought I would hate this Andrew Miller novel instead I loved it and savoured the great writing.
June – A Good Man and Notes from an Exhibition. Found these books not just a great read but very spiritual and thought-provoking and Patrick Gale was my favourite author at the Borders Book Festival.
July – Lewis Man – I was on Lewis when I read the second of the Peter May Lewis Trilogy fantastic second book all men are not what they seem and we all have stories to tell.
August – Witchlight by Susan Fletcher. Starts again in Northumbria and the Borders but then tells the story of the Glencoe Massacre prepare to be enthralled.
September – Tigers in Red Weather – USA family saga this time. One to read in the sun.
October – Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling got slated in book reviews but I thought it was excellent and made you think about the communities we live and how we relate to everyone.
November – The Language of Flowers or Mr Stink? Not sure which I enjoyed more but they are both great reads.
December – Chessmen by Peter May took me back to Tolsta and the Bridge to Nowhere where I walked every morning of my summer holidays and knew that this island held story after story.
So overall my favourite book of the year? The honours have to go to Peter May’s Lewis Trilogy and I am greatly looking forward to hearing him speak at Mainstreet Trading on the 15th January.
My second resolution came a week into January. I was reading a magazine and there was a woman who had for a year written down every day something that she was grateful for that day. I thought it was a great idea and so each day since in 2012 I have added to my Facebook page what I am grateful for that day. Some days its easy and you have so many things to be grateful for you don’t know what to pick. Other days its harder and then when you least expect it your grateful thing falls into your hands whither it is a hot bath or a hug from a child or a brilliant sunrise or sunset. What I have learnt through the course of the year is that it’s animals, people and nature that makes you grateful. Not material goods. I had a virus over much of February, March and April and it got me through it even if all I was grateful for was that I was marginally better than the previous day.
I am taking both of these resolutions into 2013. A new notebook has been ordered to record my 2013 reads. I am not going to add my grateful things of the day to Facebook I suspect that my friends are sick of them. But I am going to add them each day to a diary that my husband bought me for Christmas.
So 2013 resolutions? Why seven and why go back to my foibles? Well I have been feeling restless since I came back from Lewis in August. Lewis awakened something in me that has made me analyse where I am now with my life and where I want to be. Perhaps that is why I have started resolving so early who knows. Will I keep them? Well they are not all about my foibles some are about my aspirations and hopes. And perhaps that is what is good about New Year. It feels like a clean slate a fresh start a chance to get on and do things.
So whither you are making resolutions or not this New Year. I wish you a very Happy New Year when it comes. And I will keep you posted about my 2013 resolves. As my Papa would say Haaaaaapppy New Year!